The Girlfriend Factor Brings Back its Longstanding GoGirl! Luncheon for 2021 to Raise Funds for Educational Grants Benefiting Local Women

This Year’s Event will Showcase Nursing Recipients and Graduates Supported by GFF, Along with Honorees Amy Lipton & Debra Hovel

The Girlfriend Factor (GFF) – a local nonprofit which provides renewable educational grants and emotional support to adult women who choose to improve their lives through higher education and occupational training – will be hosting its 2021 GoGirl! Luncheon on Friday, November 5th beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort. This will mark the return of the popular event’s traditional format following a hiatus during COVID-19.

The 2021 GoGirl! Luncheon will recognize all the essential nursing recipients and graduates the Girlfriend Factor has supported over the years.

“To date, we have supported over 180 local women with more than $700,000 in grants as they’ve pursued four-year degrees or occupational certifications,” said Joan Busick, Founder of the Girlfriend Factor. “It’s been heartwarming to see such solid support of our nonprofit in this community over the years. Our generous benefactors have believed in our mission to help grant recipients go back to school and have a second chance at a career passion they were not able to pursue in their earlier years due to a variety of crossroads in their lives.”

The 2021 luncheon will also feature two local female entrepreneurs — Debra Hovel (Debra Hovel Footwear) and Amy Lipton (Amy Sport). The event will include a pop-up boutique featuring the honorees’ merchandise, as well.

Amy Lipton, Founder, Amy Sport – Amy Lipton launched Amy Sport in 2017, after being challenged in finding fashionable high-performance athleticwear designed for petite women. Following a successful career as a marketing executive, Amy was inspired to create exceptional clothes with a focus on fit, fabric quality and integrity. She, herself, enjoys an active lifestyle – so she understood the need for athleticwear that has a multipurpose appeal from the court to the golf course to social hour. Proudly made in the USA from distinctive imported and domestic fabrics, Amy Sport products are engineered with figure-flattering shapes blending flirty style and performance.

Debra Hovel, Founder, Debra Hovel Footwear – “One thing led to another” seems a common refrain for Debra Hovel – creator of Debra Hovel Footwear. Her success in one arena invariably furthers her endless thirst for knowledge, which in turn, motivates her next venture. Hovel wears many hats: She designs and makes custom footwear – and with her sculptor husband, Richard – she co-owns The Desert Star rental property in Palm Springs. She co-founded Makerville (a creative space in a former Elks summer camping lodge in Pinyon Pines) and the Palm Springs Center for Creativity. She also organized the 2020 ND2KNW, a conference of thought leaders.

The Girlfriend Factor believes education is the key to economic advancement and self-sufficiency among women, and that women can accomplish anything they set their minds to when they have the support and encouragement of their girlfriends.

GoGirl! Grants are $3,000 per year for full time students, and are renewable – which means GFF will continue to support qualified recipients until they graduate. Recipients must be 25 years of age or older and show financial need. Schools the recipients attend include: College of the Desert, California State University – San Bernardino, University of California Riverside – Palm Desert Campus, Chapman University, International School of Beauty, California Desert Trial Academy and Loma Linda School of Dentistry.

Luncheon guests will have the opportunity to meet current grant recipients and learn about their educational/career goals and plans. Tickets for the upcoming GoGirl! The Luncheon are $95, and it will be held at Miramonte Indian Wells Resort, 45000 Indian Wells Lane in Indian Wells, beginning at 11:00 a.m. on November 5th. Co-emcees for the 2021 GoGirl! Luncheon speakers are Jan Harnik and Elli Tourje.

For more information about GFF and to purchase tickets, visit or call 760.772.9594.



Launched in 2006, the GirlFriend Factor is a nonprofit organization that aims to ensure that higher education and occupational training are financially accessible to adult women, ages 25 and older, who choose to improve their economic position in life and who strive for self-sufficiency. To date, the organization has awarded over $700,000 in educational grants to more than 180 women in the Coachella Valley. While providing educational grants to women to achieve their educational goals, the organization also celebrates and explores the powerful influence women have on each other’s lives through building friendships and sharing experiences.

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